Choctaw Vote on Tuesday

By: Chris Brennaman Email
By: Chris Brennaman Email

Choctaw Vote on Tuesday

ncumbent tribal chief, Phillip Martin, is being challenged for his eighth term by five other candidates, Beasley Denson, Linda Farve, Jesse Thomas, Edward Wesley, and Kennith York.

During Martin's tenure, the tribe has gone from one of poverty to one of prosperity. In 1979, tribal sales were less than $1 million. That number now, not counting revenue from the casinos, is $20 million.

Those two casinos, Silver Star and Golden Moon, the first of which was built in 1992, have helped the Choctaw thrive.

The tribe now employs about 8,000 people. But for some, an eighth consecutive, 4-year term for Martin is not the desired direction for the Choctaw.

One of his closest challengers, Beasley Denson, says it is time for a change. He adds, on his website, that some members of the tribe have not received all the opportunities available to them.

Registered tribal members will vote Tuesday for the chief, as well as the 8 members of the tribal council. Each of the eight communities has a polling place, which will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Tribal Member Location: Choctaw Lands on Nov 17, 2010 at 02:17 PM
    The date is November 2010, What do you think of Beasley Denson now?
  • by chris Location: phildelphia on Jul 6, 2007 at 07:10 AM
    i am grateful for phillip and what he has done, but all i hear from him now is i this, i that, to me he has bought into the hype of his legacy. remember phillip that you to are just a member of the mbci not the dictator of martinland. with out the tribe you are nothing, you have forgotten this and left us wat your campaign called us uneducated chahtas behind.
  • by choctaw member Location: Philadelphia on Jul 5, 2007 at 02:13 PM
    Phillip Martin has served the tribe well for 28 years. Hats off to him for an outstanding job. He may have lost the election but he has not lost his people. He's still choctaw and we are still proud of him. We all know Phillip cannot lead the tribe forever and it was time for a new leader. Someone had to step up and learn the business therefore, this had to happen. Phillip did not become successful overnight but he worked deligently throughout the years to get were he's at today. As of now, Phillip and Beasley need to bury the hatchet and alleviate the animosity between their supporters and family rivalrys. It's time to unite and remain consistent with the future developments for our tribe and future generations to come.
  • by Brenda Location: Washington State on Jul 4, 2007 at 08:40 PM
    I'm saddened to hear that Denson has won the tribal chief election. I can only hope that he is a man of some integrity, however my knowledge of him pre-campaign proves otherwise. Chief Martin began his reign when the tribe was poverty stricken and jobless. He has taken the tribe and turned it around to be one of the wealthiest tribes with unemployment rates in the single digits. While it may soon be time to replace Chief Martin, Beasley Denson, in my opinion, is not the best candidate. Choctaw's, more than ever, need to highly scrutinize anyone interested in this position. My fear is that now, with so much money at stake, many will seek the position of tribal chief with alterior motives. We need someone with the highest integrity who prioritizes the needs and good of the tribe. Choctaw's should have pride in the paths we've taken to bring us where we are, and we need a Chief who will continue to make us proud of the path we have yet to embark upon.
  • by Rena Location: Philadelphia on Jul 2, 2007 at 12:11 PM
    Chief Martin has not single handedly turned business ventures into successes. It has been those hard working, low paid Choctaw Indians who have worked hard making every venture, every enterprise and every program work successfully. However, their immediate managers or supervisor have always been white people. I know there are alot of good white people, but then, there's that much more bad white people who have taken advantage of Choctaw Indians since Martin has been Chief. Those same white people like to believe they operate our entities, business ventures, tribal programs successfully and single-handedly as you (outsiders) believe that Chief Martin has single handedly brought the tribe up to where it is today. Well, You're Definitely behind in your research and I do sympathize for your ignorance. Believe me, Choctaws have been long under paid, worked harder than those white people who come to work at our reservation. Of course, we cannot verbalize white lies through our teeth like those bad white people can, therefore, we have always been placed at the bottom of the ladder. That has to change and that change needs to happen now. I wholeheartedly support Beasley Denson. He should be given the opportunity to become the "fresh new idea" and leadership that we need. We're getting tired of stagnating and stale air as is the present Administration. Non-Indians have never walked a mile in our moccasins, therefore, who are they to say that we need to re-elect Phillip Martin?
  • by Brianne Isaac Location: Philadelphia on Jun 29, 2007 at 08:58 AM
    I've attended Beasley's meetings and rallies, and each time, more and more people come, voicing their opinions and concerns, offering their help. I believe in Beasley. He WILL make a change. His concerns are for the future of the tribe--the future of our children--not just economic development and prosperity. "Choctaw Self-Determination" is the phrase of the tribe. That's what it says on our envelopes and papers. Emphasize "Choctaw". That is what Beasley is emphasizing. That is what I emphasize. I am a supporter of Beasley Denson. The campaign we run is strictly positive and factual, not the dirty and negative campaign Chief Martin is currently running daily. He denies any affiliation and knowledge to the ads sent constantly to our house, so WHO IS? Who sends out those flyers, degrading Beasley Denson? What is Chief Martin and his campaign teaching the younger generation? That it's okay to put someone down? Or that when someone is looking for a POSITIVE change, you have to use NEGATIVITY as a way to boost your pride, to get votes? Our campaign is run by volunteers who DO NOT get paid to go house-to-house. It's voluntary, and there are plenty of volunteers willing to help us with this campaign. We DO need a change, and, with Beasley Denson, WE WILL HAVE THAT CHANGE. Vote for Beasley Denson on July 3rd in the run-off election. Thank you.
  • by Jack Location: Philadelphia on Jun 21, 2007 at 08:50 AM
    it is my understanding that MBCI members have to select the lesser of the two evils in this election. Most MBCI members do not understand what is at stake because there are too many interferences from outside the reservation.
  • by jaybee Location: Meridian on Jun 12, 2007 at 10:07 PM
    Wanted the results. It will be a sad day to replace Chief Martin; I hope the voters review what all he has done for them; a lot of the progress made in Choctaw has been done by Chief Martin single handedly. WHAT do the other candidates think they can do any BETTER? Sad...
  • by RobertMcMichael Location: Philadelphia,Ms on Jun 12, 2007 at 08:09 PM
    Was looking for Choctaw election results.
  • by choctawgal Location: philadelphia on Jun 12, 2007 at 08:01 PM
    what needs to be investigated is how our current tribal chief ( phillip martin) could let 5 of the current tribal council members on the choctaw development board steal money and get off with just paying it back. but prosecute other tribal members that take less. Each one of the five council members took 10,000 dollars. what kinda chief do we have, how could we allow him to do such a thing. beasley denson would be a better person for the job bc he does what he saids he would do for his people
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